Borscht!

So yesterday I was put on damage control.  On this particular day, what that meant was that there was livestock out and it needed to get back in and the escape route sealed STAT.  So 6 sheep and a calf later, everything was where it should be and I was on my way to the barn for some twine to secure two panels to two more panels in the hopes that they would not escape again.  While repairing the second panel, a piece of dirt it was on disintegrated and it fell on my leg, MOTHER *$%&#%, and I now have a bruise the size of a salad plate on my shin.  In that moment where it hurt so badly I almost wet myself I thought “what would make this moment better?”  Answer: BORSCHT.

Luckily for me, ’tis the season.  So after we went out last night with our BFF’s (who also happen to be the Farmer’s Brothers and my wicked cool Sisters-in-law) and got our drink on, I got to work this morning making two monster pots of this delish summer soup.  Beef, beets, beet tops, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, dill – what’s not to like?!

All the credit for this recipe goes to my super cool Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law.  I was not raised eating borscht but was introduced to it when I met the Farmer.  The Farmer Sr. has been a farmer longer than bacon’s been a food group and there’s two things he knows well – borscht and homemade perogies.  Mmmmmm.

Start with your ground beef again.  Notice the snazzy mallet?  Yep, my fave kitchen tool there again.  (See my Taco Salad post to find out its origin).

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So once you have your ground beef cooking, add some onion.  I added one large in-season white onion to each pot (you can also add garlic but I didn’t know I had any until later on today) and once it’s cooked, fill each pot up with beef stock according to the directions.  I use whatever I have in the house, OXO packets/cubes or the liquid style stock you shake and add.

While your beef and onion is simmering, wash and peel your beets.  I used 3 large ones for this recipe today and as you can see I made enough to feed an army (or the four of us twice).

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Once you have your beets peeled and washed, chop them up into cubes and don’t forget to save the beet tops to chop and add too.  Beet tops are magical steamed with vinegar and a bit of butter but they’re also great in borscht.

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After you add the beets to the pot, wash and cube your carrots, potatoes and cabbage.  I used about 10 baby potatoes and 4 fresh carrots for these two pots.  I also cut up half a head of cabbage to add between the two pots too.  Chop up the fresh dill too, it makes this so delish!  There was about two full tablespoons after I chopped it to each pot.

After that, just taste it and you can season with salt and pepper as you need.  I also like to add a little vinegar because that’s how I eat it.  I DO NOT under any circumstance add cream or sour cream to it because I am not a fan but if you like that kind of thing then knock your socks off.  Let it simmer on the stove for at least an hour on low and you will have a pot of pure bliss to eat once you’re done!

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I spent a great deal of time in the kitchen today, I also baked two loaves of bread (with the best bread recipe courtesy of my Grandma Johnson), a blueberry raspberry pie and a chocolate zucchini cake.  Below is the pie.  I ate 25% of it.  I would have added the recipe to today’s blog but basically I thought it was going to suck so I didn’t pay too much attention to it and I nabbed the crust from Nana’s freezer yesterday and I don’t have the recipe for it.  I promise I will get it and add it to the next post!

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Borscht!  (Recipe for two large pots as shown in pics)

2 pounds ground beef
2 large onions
3 large beets, peeled and cubed
10 smallish potatoes, cubed
4 large carrots, sliced
Half a head of cabbage, sliced
Fresh dill, 4 tablespoons chopped
Beef stock as needed (at least 10 cups worth)

Happy Eating!  Kim.

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